How to eat healthy when dining out

Yum....post-Ironman, day after food in Lake Placid! 
Veggie burger and fries for me and a meat burger for Karel.

These days, you don’t need a special occasion to have someone serve you, wait on you, prepare food for you and clean up after you. Close to 50 percent of all food spending in the U.S. is at at restaurants, fast food joints, or food away from home. With food available at every corner, cooking has declined in both value and necessity. Clean-up, dirty dishes and burdensome meal planning are among the most common reasons as to why many people don't make the time to eat home- cooked meals. Throw in training for a triathlon and you have a list of excuses as to why you can’t find time to properly fuel your active lifestyle.

Despite its convenience, eating out comes with many dangers. Bigger portion sizes, increased calories, sodium and fat can make frequent eating out a problem area for athletes seeking to maximize their daily nutrition,and stay lean. If an occasional habit has turned into daily occurrence, try the following tips to help keep you on track.  
But, before spending all your energy on how to eat better outside the home, here's my top tip: Consider commiting to eating a home-cooked, balanced meal for five to six of your meals per week. This will help you feel better equipped to dine more healthfully outside the home, without feeling guilty or worried about damaging your training or packing on the body fat.

Don't let a spontaneous dinner invite derail your goals. Arm yourself with these smart tips.

Click HERE for my dining out tips, featured on Ironman.com. 

Enjoying pastries and coffee in Karel's hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic. YUM!